How to care for your orthodontics at home

While you’re stuck at home and unable to visit your orthodontist, it’s the best time to perfect your brushing and flossing techniques to help keep a healthy smile.

Orthodontic treatments always require regular visits to the orthodontist, however due to current circumstances, you may not be able to visit the orthodontist.

In this case, you’re left to take care of your orthodontic needs at home, however for patients of South Yarra Orthodontics, our team can engage in virtual consultations with you to help!

So don’t panic, as we are always here for you and your treatment, no matter the issues.

While being unable to visit your orthodontist, please follow all instructions from your orthodontist and take care of your smile and make sure to maintain a healthy diet, smile and treatment.

Top tips for managing orthodontics at home

Here are the most important tips to remember to reduce the chances of damages to your braces or clear aligners, by making sure you take care and be healthy.

  • Avoid hard, sticky and very crunchy foods.
  • Keep brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes and flossing.
  • Rinse your mouth out after drinking or eating.
  • Be gentle to reduce the chances of issues occurring.
  • Remove aligners for eating and drinking (water is an exception).

Doing these will help reduce the chances of orthodontic issues or emergencies, however, we understand that they can still occur.

How to handle orthodontic emergencies at-home

Firstly, it’s of the highest priority to have both orthodontic wax and a fresh pair of nail clippers available at home, as they are useful in many orthodontic emergency situations.

  • Orthodontic wax – Useful for covering protruding wires, broken brackets and other ‘something’ to stop it from moving or cutting your gums, tongue or cheeks.
  • Nail clippers – Used to cut protruding wires that cannot be put back into place and are poking into your gums, cheeks or tongue causing pain.

It’s also important to learn how to react to different emergency situations at-home, so here is a list of some of the common orthodontic issues.

How to handle broken braces

Whether it’s a bracket, the wires or attachments, it’s important to notify us as soon as possible to organise emergency repairs.

If it’s the wire that has shifted out of place, you can attempt to gently push it back into place using your fingernail after washing your hands. However, if it will not shift back into place, make sure to cover it with wax or clip it off very carefully with a clean pair of nail clippers if it is causing irritation.

Whether it’s a bracket, wire or ligature tie that has broken, shifted or bent, make sure to apply the orthodontic wax to prevent irritation.

Running out of elastics

Don’t panic if you run out of elastics, just make sure to contact your orthodontist who will be able to post more out to you.

Whatever you do, do not source elastics from elsewhere. Only use elastics provided to you by your orthodontist.

Retainer does not fit

There are reasons why retainers may not fit anymore, including if they become warped by heat, damaged or if you are not wearing your aligners as per your orthodontist’s instructions.

By taking proper precautions and care, your retainer should always fit your mouth.

However, if you have a lingual retainer that is becoming loose and the wire is moving, please use orthodontic wax to hold it down or clip it off with a clean pair of nail clippers if it is too irritable or painful.

Cracked or broken aligners

If you notice a crack starting in your aligners, make sure to handle them very carefully and only ever pull them out of your mouth from the opposite side to the crack. Even with a crack, you must wear the aligners as they will still be moving your teeth as per your treatment.

Your orthodontist will be able to provide information and advice whether to begin wearing your next aligner early or using your old aligner in the form of a retainer.

Aligner attachments broke off

Attachments, for example, buttons, are used to assist the movement of your teeth and in some cases they may fall off.

It’s important to continue wearing your aligners, even if attachments break off, however, make sure to take elastics out if they were attached to the button which fell out.

Run out of aligners

If you are on your last aligner and haven’t received your next sequential aligner trays, it’s important to contact your orthodontist to see if you can receive your next aligners.

In the event that you cannot receive your next aligners, you must continue wearing your current aligner as a retainer, but for only 12 hours a day.

How to take care of your Invisalign aligners at-home

Make sure to remove your aligners every time you eat or drink anything other water, and before you reinsert your aligners, you should clean both your teeth and aligners. Never use toothpaste to clean your aligners.

To keep your aligners unstained, it’s important to know which foods and drinks cause stains, for example coffee, wine and curries.

How to keep clean Invisalign aligners

Make sure to take your trays out while eating, drinking and cleaning. Make sure to also clean your trays twice a day, soak them in aligner cleaner or mouthwash once a week and keep them safe.

What not to do:

  • You must never wash your aligners in warm or hot water as this can warp the plastic.
  • Do not use toothpaste to clean your aligners, as it’s abrasive.
  • Don’t eat or drink anything other than water with your aligner in, to avoid discolouring.
  • Don’t leave your aligners unprotected and exposed to damage and bacteria while they’re not inside the mouth. Keep them inside the storage box.
  • While cleaning, remember that soaps that are not clear can cause stains.

Your orthodontic needs by South Yarra Orthodontics

No matter the situation, our friendly, professional and experienced team at South Yarra Orthodontics is always here for you, even if it’s through Skype or Zoom conferences.

We are always open to treat orthodontic emergencies as they must be dealt with.

If you require emergency orthodontic assistance or have any questions, please contact the team on (03) 9131 1999 or by clicking here.

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